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Warm Up: Get back in your sharing stations from yesterday (red, blue, yellow, purple) and share you aphorisms. Once you and your partners share staple.

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Presentation on theme: "Warm Up: Get back in your sharing stations from yesterday (red, blue, yellow, purple) and share you aphorisms. Once you and your partners share staple."— Presentation transcript:

1 Warm Up: Get back in your sharing stations from yesterday (red, blue, yellow, purple) and share you aphorisms. Once you and your partners share staple your aphorism on the board in order.

2 THE RHETORICAL TRIANGLE This presentation will probably involve audience discussion, which will create action items. Use PowerPoint to keep track of these action items during your presentation In Slide Show, click on the right mouse button Select “Meeting Minder” Select the “Action Items” tab Type in action items as they come up Click OK to dismiss this box This will automatically create an Action Item slide at the end of your presentation with your points entered.

3 What is Rhetoric? What is said ( message ) Who is saying it ( speaker ) Who is listening ( audience ) Where / when it is being said ( context, appeals ) Why it is being said ( purpose ) How it is being said ( tone, style )

4 What is the Rhetorical Triangle? Shows the relationship between speaker, audience, message, style, purpose, tone Understanding these rhetorical elements makes both writing and analysis much clearer

5 Aristotle’s Rhetorical Triangle

6 The Author / Speaker Think about gender / race / geographical/ socioeconomic/ political orientation of author that can be determined from the text and/or background knowledge Author Bias / hidden agenda (try to identify it; this may make the author less credible) Other important biographical information may affect text

7 The Audience Are they friend or foe? (hostile or sympathetic) How will they receive the message? How will they affect tone? style? Who is the intentional audience (age, gender, background, interests)? Who is the unintentional audience? Over time, does the message/effect of the message change as the audience changes?

8 The Message What is the main point being made? In other words, what is the writer’s / speaker’s thesis? Look at the message as an argument / position being sold to the audience. What is the author trying to convince the audience of?

9 The Message Consider this when trying to identify the exact message: What is the topic (1-2 words) about which the piece is written? What is the most important aspect or perspective about that topic that the author wants you to understand? What, exactly, does the author want the reader to think/do/feel/say? What is the “no” on the other side of the author’s “yes?” (And vice versa)


11 Persuasive Appeals

12 Ethos: appeal to the credibility of the speaker Writer is credible because of a perceived or real experience, knowledge, or celebrity Using a good reputation to sell their ideas

13 Logos: Appeal to logic Offers clear, reasonable premises and proofs Develops ideas with appropriate details Makes sure readers can follow the progression of ideas

14 Pathos: Appeal to Emotion Use of personal stories and observations Use of figurative language Dominates advertising

15 Context The situation in which writing and reading occurs An exploration of that situation can lead to understanding of what underlies writer’s choices Context can alter rhetorical choices in form and content


17 The editorial cartoonists sent a very strong message these past few days. At the very least, we owe it to other forms of life with whom we share this planet of ours that we shall not lessen their importance nor, importantly, hasten their demise. The environmental disaster shaping up along the Gulf Coast is a stark reminder to alter our wasteful consumption habits and destructive ways. Before we get (no pun intended) engulfed by the consequences. Will our political leaders heed this cry for help? Where are the "conservatives" whose political philosophy is supposed to be based on, as we've been told for decades now, conserving the best elements of life around us and retaining social and political traditions that we all struggle to preserve?

18 Purpose Is the speaker… Trying to win agreement? Persuade us to take action? Evoke sympathy? Make us laugh? Inform?

19 Purpose Does the speaker want to… Provoke? Celebrate? Repudiate? Put forth a proposal? Secure support? Bring about a favorable decision?


21 Practice: Identify audience, message, speaker, context, purpose, persuasive appeal

22 The Rhetorical Triangle Message SpeakerAudience ToneStyle Purpose

23 The Message Read the Ralph Waldo Emerson piece on “Nature.” What, exactly, do you think best restates Emerson’s writer’s thesis? Which quotes from the text best reveal that thesis, that purpose? “In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in the streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds something as beautiful as his own nature.”

24 The Tone What is the author’s attitude about his / her subject / message? What words in the message let you know the tone? How does the selection of the tone affect the audience’s reception of the message? Is it appropriate for the occasion/subject matter?

25 The Tone Very often, tone words will vary in meaning only in the degree of intensity, in the “positiveness” or “negativeness.” Take a look at the TONE words on the following slide. Can you categorize these words into groups (positive/ negative, specific degrees of emotion)? Can you tell the difference between the word pairs?

26 The Tone ZealousApatheticReticent Condescending Conciliatory Complimentary RemorsefulResignedNostalgic Self-Deprecating DetachedHaughty SardonicSarcasticIrreverent

27 The Tone Read again the Ralph Waldo Emerson piece on “Nature.” Given Emerson’s message, which of the tone words on either the previous screen, your tone list, or your own imaginings best captures Emerson’s attitude toward the wilderness?

28 The Style What strategies does the author employ in order to get his / her message across? These strategies may include: ethos, logos, pathos; organization; diction; syntax; figurative language; grammatical structure; selection of details; imagery

29 The Rhetorical Purpose Under what circumstances is the author addressing his/her audience? In other words, what is going on in the world at the time this text was composed, and how do those events affect the text? What is the “no” on the other side of the author’s “yes”?

30 The Rhetorical Purpose There are four main “purposes” for argumentation: To Assert To Inquire To Dominate To Negotiate/Reconcile

31 The Rhetorical Purpose Arguments to Assert: “Traditionally, argument has been understood as a formal attempt to state a position on an issue (your thesis), offer acceptable reasons for that position, provide evidence in support of those reasons, and anticipate objections. Indeed, to write an effective argument of any kind requires you make a clear assertion and support it adequately…” (IA, pp. 11-12)

32 The Rhetorical Purpose Arguments to Inquire: Inquiry is the nature of almost all academic writing – i.e., “I’m interested in this…I will research the available data on the subject and then write…” Inquiry is “arguing to learn and understand” (IA, pg13) “These arguments, then, are exploratory in two ways; (a) they encourage the writer to explore a topic in order to arrive at a reasonable position; and (b) they invite writers to engage in exploring that topic as well” (IA, pg.16)

33 The Rhetorical Purpose Arguments to Dominate (Aristotelian): Arguments that dominate are used in “win-lose” situations and are particularly applicable in situations involving the law. “Being able to recognize the complexity of…situations will help you identify argument to dominate is that you can make informed decisions about them.” (IA, 17- 18) “Examples provided in your text note that sometimes truth is not what is emphasized as much as what is morally or ethically relevant.

34 The Rhetorical Purpose Arguments to Negotiate/Reconcile (Rogerian): These arguments negotiate differences and lead to compromise. “Writer practicing Rogerian argument (from Carl Rogers) negotiate differences by “restat[ing] what others have said before offering their own views” (IA,19). This style of argumentation “rests on the assumption that language can be completely neutral—an idea that has been seriously questioned by modern linguists and philosophers” (IA,19).

35 Final Questions: Is language ever neutral? Is listening to the other side of an issue always effective? How could the each purpose of argumentation be useful to you?

36 Summary Remember – it is not one of these elements of the rhetorical triangle that can be used to analyze a text; it is the relationships between these rhetorical elements that composes the meaning we get from a text! True analysis is not only the what, but also the why and the how!

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